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They Can't Blame the Snow This Time

December 15th, 2003

While the weekend after Thanksgiving is usually soft, the weekend after that usually sees a bit of a rebound. Last year, for instance, we saw a nearly 20% week-to-week increase at the box office. This year we weren't so lucky. No movie in the top five beat box office expectations, while a couple did place higher on the charts due to weaker than expected competition. This led to a drop of nearly 9% from last week and 13% from last year.

It was a two-way race for top spot, but not the two movies I thought. And not at the same box office level either. Something's Gotta Give earned a respectable $16.1 million in its first week. That may seem very low, and it is compared to many predictions. But given the target audience, good reviews and the time of year the film could have a multiplier of 5, or more.

Either last weekend's snowstorm didn't have as big of an effect on the box office as the studios would have us believe, or The Last Samurai's long term prospects are in real jeopardy. It only managed $14.1 million in its second week for a drop-off of 42%. That's barely average for this time of year, and with a total budget of more than $150 million, average just won't cut it.

It turns out there are some subjects too weird for even the Farrelly Brothers to tackle. Stuck on You, a film about conjoined twins, opened with only $9.4 million dollars on 3003 screens. A per screen average of barely more than $3000 is just not acceptable. Reviewswere not bad, but that low per screen average will lead to many theatres dropping it by Christmas.

Good news, Love Don't Cost a Thing had a higher per theatre average than Stuck on You. Bad news, it only made $6.3 million dollars. And if the reviews are any indication, its long-term prospects are very poor.

In a surprise result, The Haunted Mansion managed to hold onto the last spot in the top five with $6.1 million. But it was barely able to do that. The next two movies on the charts, Elf and Bad Santa were just behind with $6 million. In fact, those two movies were within $5000 of each other.

Honey was unable to rebound from weak mid-week numbers and didn't to hold onto fifth spot as predicted. In fact, it dropped a huge 62% to land at $4.9 million and eighth place. Still, its total box office is just shy of $20 million, which is more than its production budget, so the studio is probably happy with its run so far.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - Extended Edition made significantly more this weekend than The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition made last week. Over $700 thousand in just 126 theatres. This bodes well for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's opening this Wednesday.

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Filed under: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Elf, Something's Gotta Give, The Last Samurai, The Haunted Mansion, Bad Santa, Stuck On You, Honey, Love Don't Cost a Thing